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Tampa Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

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Taking Action

Tampa Friends Meeting, while small, can be mighty when taking action, especially when we join with other individuals and organizations, Quaker and non-Quaker, for action involving our community, the region, our nation and the world. To learn more about why we hold these values, why we witness and seek social and economic justice, visit our Queries and Advices page.

Tampa Friends gathered and shared our grief and pain over the recent mass shootings in New York and Texas and spent time discerning how we might be led to act in response.

Call to Action

Friends may reach out to Quaker meetings located in or nearby the affected communities, to offer notes of support and encouragement, as well as any monetary donations. For those wishing to take this action, the local meeting addresses are listed below.

For the mass shooting at the TOPS grocery store in Buffalo:
Buffalo Friends Meeting, 1272 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY 14209

For the mass shooting at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde (listed in order from closest to farthest from Uvalde):

  • Del Rio Worship Group, 1840 Sundance Kid Trail, Del Rio, TX 78840
  • Hill Country Friends Meeting, 1441 Bandera Highway, Kerrville, TX 78028
  • San Antonio Friends Meeting, 7052 N. Vandiver Rd., San Antonio, TX 78209

We feel called to witness to the unjust legislation recently enacted in Florida. This legislation targets among the most vulnerable of our fellow Floridians, the LGBTQ community, as well as educators, by banning health care services (HB 211; HB 747 and SB 1820; and HB 167); controlling speech in classrooms about race, gender, and sexuality, and banning books (HB 1557 and SB 1834; HB 7 and SB 148).

Tampa Friends Respond

As Quakers, consistent with our belief of that of God in everyone and our testimony of social and economic justice, in order to meet our responsibilities to the community and the world, we are to “do all in our power to end governmental, social, economic, and educational injustices in our community and to create equal opportunity for all. {To that end} we are to encourage inclusiveness and discourage discrimination…encourage all efforts to overcome prejudices…and to cherish diversity.” (Southeastern Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends Faith and Practice, 4th edition 2013)

We are called by Scripture to love our neighbor – all our neighbors, with no exceptions (Leviticus 19:9-18 and Matthew 22:37-39). As Quaker William Penn noted, “Love is the most difficult lesson in Christianity; but, for that reason, it should be most our care to learn it.”

Therefore, on 8 May 2022, Tampa Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends approved the following minute:

As members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) we are committed to reach out to that of God in everyone. We endeavor to live out our testimonies in all the circumstances of daily life, living in love and learning from one another.

We believe that Florida’s recently enacted “Don’t Say Gay” bill [2022 HB 1557], the “Transgender Youth Medical Care Ban” [2022 HB 211], the “License to Discriminate in Health Care Bill” [2022 HB 747], and the proposed “Stop Woke Act” [2022 HB 7] codify and mandate discrimination against already vulnerable people and puts those who seek to support them at risk of prosecution.

Tampa Quakers urge all to be bold in expressing peaceful opposition to this and all legislation that will deny gender-questioning youth their human rights, including access to compassionate counseling and medical care. We also oppose legislation that prohibits educators from teaching about America’s past or present which causes discomfort to any student.

Compliance with these laws will seriously inhibit the possibility of love, truth, and reconciliation which are prerequisites to attaining a just society of equals. For this reason, we call Friends and all Floridians to resist these laws through writing letters to the editor, the governor, and state legislators; engaging in peaceful protests; and supporting the organizations, teachers, and physicians who choose to act in opposition to these laws.

Call to Action

Therefore, Tampa Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, recognizing the unloving action, intolerance, and injustice of these proposed bills, calls on everyone to resist these laws and to support the organizations, teachers, and physicians who choose to act in opposition to these laws.


Quakers around the world have held vigils, praying for an end to the war. In addition, many Quaker organizations have issued statements condemning the war and calling for both sides to work toward peace through diplomacy.

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) statement can be found on their website: The invasion of Ukraine must be stopped – but U.S. military aid is not the answer | American Friends Service Committee.

Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) also has a statement on their website: Statement On Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine | Friends Committee On National Legislation.

In addition to holding the people of Ukraine in the Light, the following are a few of the organizations aiding Ukrainians, for those who requested ways to provide additional help:


As members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), we feel called to witness to the unjust legislations currently under consideration by the Florida legislature: HB 211 – Transgender Youth Medical Ban (would jail doctors for providing lifesaving, gender-affirming care to young people); HB 1557 and SB 1834 – Parental Rights in Education (“Don’t Say Gay”); HB 7 and SB 148 – Individual Freedom (“Stop WOKE Act”); and HB 747 and SB 1820 – Protections of Medical Conscience (License to Discriminate in Healthcare).

These bills target among the most vulnerable of our fellow Floridians, the LGBTQ community, as well as educators, by banning health care services (HB 211; HB 747 and SB 1820; and HB 167); controlling speech in classrooms about race, gender, and sexuality, and banning books (HB 1557 and SB 1834; HB 7 and SB 148).

The Transgender Youth Medical Care Ban, HB 211, puts politicians between trans youth, their parents, and their doctor. The text of the bill can be found at online. (For other bills, at this site one can substitute the desired bill number.)

According to Equality Florida, attacks on the transgender community in Florida (especially transgender women) are increasing following the state’s passage of the ban on trans youth in sports (signed into law by Governor DeSantis on June 1, 2021). In addition, viral videos show trans children in Florida schools being physically bullied. A 2017 report by the CDC reported that 35% of trans students are bullied at school and 35% attempt suicide. The full report can be found at Transgender Identity and Experiences of Violence Victimization, Substance Use, Suicide Risk, and Sexual Risk Behaviors Among High School Students — 19 States and Large Urban School Districts, 2017 | MMWR (cdc.gov).

Tampa Friends Respond

As Quakers, consistent with our belief of that of God in everyone and our testimony of social and economic justice, in order to meet our responsibilities to the community and the world, we are to “do all in our power to end governmental, social, economic, and educational injustices in our community and to create equal opportunity for all. {To that end} we are to encourage inclusiveness and discourage discrimination…encourage all efforts to overcome prejudices…and to cherish diversity.” (Southeastern Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends Faith and Practice, 4th edition 2013)

We are called by Scripture to love our neighbor – all our neighbors, with no exceptions (Leviticus 19:9-18 and Matthew 22:37-39). As Quaker William Penn noted, “Love is the most difficult lesson in Christianity; but, for that reason, it should be most our care to learn it.”

Therefore, on 20 February 2022, Tampa Meeting approved the following minute:

Tampa Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, as a witness to the discriminatory and unjust legislative targeting of the LGBTQ community by the Governor and members of the Florida Legislature, hereby call on Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature to reject all such bills, including but not limited to HB 211 – Transgender Youth Medical Ban (would jail doctors for providing lifesaving, gender-affirming noninvasive care to young people); HB 1557 and SB 1834 – Parental Rights in Education (“Don’t Say Gay”); HB 7 and SB 148 – Individual Freedom (“Stop WOKE Act”); and HB 747 and SB 1820 – Protections of Medical Conscience (License to Discriminate in Healthcare).

Call to Action

Therefore, Tampa Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, recognizing the unloving action, intolerance, and injustice of these proposed bills, calls on our fellow Floridians including all our Florida state Representatives and Senators, as well as Governor DeSantis to reject support for these bills.

In addition, Tampa Monthly Meeting encourages an immediate phone campaign to state Representatives, Senators, and to Governor DeSantis.

If you do not know who your representatives are, they can be found at the following link: www.myfloridahouse.gov.

Email the Governor at GovernorRon.Desantis@eog.myflorida.com and/or a phone call to the Governor’s office at 850-717-9337.

For additional assistance, please call the State Assistance Information Line at 800-342-3557.


Florida Representative Anthony Sabatini has filed HB 211, the Transgender Youth Medical Care Ban, which calls for imprisoning doctors for providing medical care to transgender youth, putting politicians between trans youth, their parents, and their doctor. The text of the bill can be found online.

According to Equality Florida, attacks on the transgender community in Florida (especially transgender women) are increasing following the state’s passage of the ban on trans youth in sports (signed into law by Governor DeSantis on June 1, 2021). In addition, viral videos show trans children in Florida schools being physically bullied. A 2017 report by the CDC reported that 35% of trans students are bullied at school and 35% attempt suicide. The full report can be found online. Transgender Identity and Experiences of Violence Victimization, Substance Use, Suicide Risk, and Sexual Risk Behaviors Among High School Students — 19 States and Large Urban School Districts, 2017 | MMWR.

Tampa Friends Respond

As Quakers, consistent with our belief of that of God in everyone and our testimony of social and economic justice, in order to meet our responsibilities to the community and the world, we are to “do all in our power to end governmental, social, economic, and educational injustices in our community and to create equal opportunity for all. [To that end] we are to encourage inclusiveness and discourage discrimination…encourage all efforts to overcome prejudices…and to cherish diversity.” (Southeastern Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends Faith and Practice, 4th edition 2013)

Therefore, on 10 October 2021, Tampa Meeting approved the following minute:

Tampa Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, recognizing the injustice of the proposed HB 211 in denying transgender children medical care, calls on our Florida state representatives and senators, as well as Governor DeSantis not to support this bill.

Call to Action

Tampa Monthly Meeting encourages a letter writing campaign to Friends’ state representatives, senators, and to Governor DeSantis. If you do not know who your Florida senator or representative is, visit this link and enter your address. Then you will have to find your way to a contact link for them. Email the Governor at GovernorRon.Desantis@eog.myflorida.com and/or a phone call to the Governor’s office at 850-717-9337. For additional assistance, please call the State Assistance Information Line at 800-342-3557.


Background information

UPDATE: We are happy to report that the governor has reversed his decision on accepting federal funding to help alleviate hunger in Florida children.

According to an article in the Tampa Bay Times dated 24 August 2021, “Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administraton has not yet applied for up to $820 million in food assistance to more than 2 million Florida children...”

Because our Quaker faith tells us there is that of God in everyone, including children, we are called to aid the poor and helpless and to care for the vulnerable.

Tampa Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, recognizing the severe problem of childhood hunger in Florida and society’s moral duty to confront this, calls on our elected officials to apply for all Federal food assistance benefits to fully fund, among other programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. i. e. SNAP (formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) and the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program.

Call to Action

Tampa Monthly Meeting encourages a letter writing campaign to Governor DeSantis. Email the Governor at GovernorRon dot Desantis at eog dot myflorida dot com and/or a phone call to the Governor’s office at 850-717-9337.

For additional assistance, please call the State Assistance Information Line at 800-342-3557.

Right Sharing

Two baskets have been placed in the foyer of the back (worship) building for donations. One is for nonperishable food items and the other is for new and unused toiletries and clothing. The donations will be taken to a local food bank weekly. Thank you for sharing.

Toiletries

  • Hand soap
  • Shampoo
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Socks
  • Underwear